Declaring that the 5th Congressional District needs someone who will "fight for what he knows is right" and not just vote the right way, Darryl Glenn, the GOP nominee for the U.S. Senate in Colorado last year, announced on Monday that he's running for the seat held by incumbent U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, another Colorado Springs Republican.
"Our country is in the balance and the time is now for better ideas and action," said Glenn, an El Paso County Commissioner and a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, in a statement. "For us to succeed, we must elect a leader who doesn't simply vote for what he thinks is right, but who will fight for what he knows is right. I am that leader."
Glenn joins state Sen. Owen Hill, R-Colorado Springs, in next year's primary against Lamborn, who has faced primary challengers in five of the six elections he's won in the heavily Republican district.
Noting that Lamborn is serving his sixth term in office, Glenn said he believes federal elected officials should be subject to term limits the same as local officials in Colorado. "Elected leaders need to come home after a reasonable length of service and live under the same policies that they've enacted," he said.
Glenn, who introduced himself on the Senate campaign trail as an "unapologetic Christian, constitutional conservative, pro-life, Second Amendment-loving American," fell 5.7 points short in his challenge against Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet in last year's election.
He won the GOP nomination against four better-funded primary opponents after campaigning around the state for more than a year on a shoe-string and winning endorsements from prominent conservatives as well as financial support from conservative organizations.
Glenn was the only candidate to emerge from the state GOP assembly last April after he delivered an electrifying speech and won enough delegate votes to deny others at the assembly a spot on the June ballot. His four primary rivals - CSU Athletics Director Jack Graham, businessman Robert Blaha, former state Rep. Jon Keyser and former Aurora City Councilman Ryan Frazier - all got on the ballot by petition.
In his announcement Monday, Glenn pointed to a record of fighting for safer communities, better roads and fewer government regulations during the two terms he sat on the Colorado Springs City Council and his tenure on the El Paso County Commission, where he's serving his second term.
He said his priorities in Congress will include a strong national defense; repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act ; combating drug addiction through intervention; providing treatment and work to combat homelessness; cutting red tape to make housing more affordable; and battling domestic violence to ensure "every Coloradan feels safe in their own home."
"I'm concerned about the direction of our state and country. Those who were elected to represent us squabble rather than resolve. They talk instead of listen. They produce excuses instead of results. Our citizens are frustrated and angry. I know that together we can do better," Glenn said. He added that he wants to make sure local nonprofits, churches and community groups have the support and resources they need. "I trust in our ability to succeed and will focus my efforts on eliminating the D.C. bureaucracy that more times than not gets in the way."
Echoing a comment he made last week, Lamborn campaign spokesman Jarred Rego told Colorado Politics the congressman was too busy to pay much attention to Glenn's formal announcement.
"The congressman just completed work on numerous policy amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act ahead of its strong, bipartisan passage," said Rego. "His focus is on polices that strengthen our national security needs and protect and grow our local military missions, not on the ambitions of local politicians."
Hill offered Glenn an equally disparaging welcome when news broke he was planning to jump in the primary with Hill, calling him "long on talk and short on accomplishments." Later, Hill told Colorado Politics he believed he compared well against both of his Republican opponents.
Glenn could start his congressional campaign with some money in the bank, since his 2016 U.S. Senate campaign committee reported $157,507 on hand at the end of March in an FEC filing. (Federal election rules allow candidates running for different federal offices in different election cycles to transfer all of their leftover funds to new committees.)
Lamborn reported he had $378,553 on hand at the end of the 2nd quarter in a campaign finance filing Friday. He raised $72,766 for the quarter, mostly from political action committees.
Hill raised $228,014 in the 2nd quarter - he launched his campaign just days in the fundraising period - and had $192,844 on hand at the end of June after spending $35,170.
Glenn, an attorney, launched the consulting firm DLG Esquire Attorney at Law just after the November election, saying it was intended to help political, business and community leaders with "implementing innovative solutions to growing community challenges." He's married to Jane Northrup-Glenn - the two married last fall after meeting on the Senate campaign trail.